A volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean has merged with its neighbor to form one landmass, according to Auto World News.
In November 2013, the volcano broke through the ocean’s surface to form Japan’s latest addition to their territory in the “Ring of Fire,” which spans from the coast of Chile north to Alaska and Siberia and then circles back down past Japan and the Philippines toward New Zealand.
On March 30, NASA’s Earth Observatory confirmed the Landsat 8 satellite captured evidence of an expansion. The island has continued to erupt, growing in size, and its lava ended up joining with tits neighbor, taking over the remains of a 40-year-old volcanic island, according to EarthObservatory.com. At first, the small volcanic island broke the ocean’s surface nearly 2,000 feet away from it’s nearby neighboring volcanic island that expanded about 40 years ago.The island now resides amongst the churn of the Pacific, approximately 600 miles south of Tokyo. It is part of a chain called the Ogasawara Islands, or more commonly known and referred to as the Bonin Islands.
Beneath the newly conjoined island is a giant submarine volcano that last erupted in 1973 and 1974, according the Japanese Coast Guard.
“This is a great example of how volcanic island like this in the Bonin Islands grow over hundreds to thousands of eruptions,” volcanologist Erik Klemetti said in a post for Wired.
Originally scientists didn’t think Niijima would stand for more than a couple of years. Now it is six-tenths of a mile across, close to 200 feet tall, and is expected to be around for years to come.
“A lot of it depends on how fast it erodes,” Ken Rubin, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an expert in submarine volcanism, said to CNN. “Until it shuts off, it’s too soon to tell.”